Ravichandran Ashwin and MS Dhoni
Ravichandran Ashwin and MS Dhoni Image Credit: AFP/PTI

Ravichandran Ashwin and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are the biggest talking points after the Indian squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE was announced on Wednesday. Off-spinner Ashwin returns to India’s T20 side after a four-year absence, while former India captain Dhoni dons the mantle of a mentor.

The team is short on pace bowlers, but the belief is that the UAE wickets will assist spin bowlers. Since the Super 12 matches start on October 23 after the conclusion of IPL 2021, the pitches are expected to have some wear and tear.

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But if IPL 2020 in the UAE is any indication, fast bowlers are likely to get some assistance. Delhi Capitals’ flight to last year’s IPL final was propelled by pacers Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada, while Indian spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and New Zealand’s Trent Boult catapulted Mumbai Indians to their fifth IPL title. So India will have to bank on Hardik Pandya to beef up the seam attack.

The batting also seems short on international experience. Did the Indian selectors miss a trick or two? Gulf News experts analyse the 15-man squad for the World Cup.